">'); win.document.writeln(''); win.document.writeln(''); }

The Indefinite Article.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Help Menus

At what point did i become so distrustful of help menus? It may have been with my first mac (Captain Pinky Winky); i seem to recall that the help menu took forever to open and i hadn't the patience to wait. Even now, when i am forced to troll support pages to solve problems i get a knot in my stomach. usually, i will call tech support (read: adolph, paul, todd... in that order *sorry todd*).

Apart from the books (thanks, adolph) and numerous online tutorials on action scripting, the Flash Help menu has been an incredible resource. I never knew a help menu could actually help. Today i found the 'Action Script Language Reference' and found a (simple) solution to a problem that i had encountered early on. Todd was considering a zip code map for a media company on which a user would roll over and get feedback on particular zip codes. The problem was that the zip code areas were irregularly shaped and so when performing a movieClip.hitTest(), the hit test would read the entire bounding box, not just the shape. Turns out that the moveClip.hitTest() has this syntax:

my_mc.hitTest(x:Number, y:Number, shapeFlag:Boolean)

the Boolean value at the end determines if the hitTest should read the bounding box (false) or the true shape (true).

isn't that neat?


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